Caroline Wozniacki continued her resurgent US Open performance Sunday, handily beating No. 8 seed Madison Keys to advance to her first major quarterfinal since her run to the final at this same tournament two years ago.
Having knocked off world No. 10 Svetlanta Kuznetsova in the second round, this marks the only time Wozniacki has beaten two top-10 players at the same Slam in her career, which is remarkable considering she spent 67 weeks at No. 1.
Her ranking had plummeted all the way to 74th coming into the tournament, but the win will propel her back into the top 50. After starting the tournament with a shaky performance against qualifier Taylor Townsend, Wozniacki has gotten better with each match, culminating in her squeaky-clean outing against Keys.
It was vintage counterstriking tennis from the 26-year-old Dane, who masterfully absorbed and redirected her opponent’s punishing pace, and ultimately coaxed her into a slew of costly unforced errors.
Keys out-winnered Wozniacki 30-12, but she also made 33 errors to Wozniacki’s seven. For all the justifiable hullabaloo over Keys’ massive serve, it was Wozniacki who dominated in that category, winning 80 percent of her first-serve points and losing just 13 service points overall.
It’s the first time this year Wozniazki has won four consecutive matches. She came to Flushing Meadows having failed to win a Grand Slam match in 2016. But the US Open has always been kind to her, as she’s made the finals twice and the semis on two other occasions.
“It has been such a tough year,” she said. “To be here in the quarterfinals is amazing.”
Meanwhile, it’s another fourth-round exit for Keys, who’s now been stopped at this stage at five straight Slams. She’s still just 21, and has done well this year to crack the top 10 for the first time, but the breakthrough portended last year – when she made the Australian Open semis and Wimbledon quarters – hasn’t quite come to pass just yet.
In the quarters, Wozniacki will meet the tournament Cinderella, Anastasija Sevastova, who was recently retired but is now through to her first major quarterfinal without dropping a set.